Having food poisoning and driving a car might seem like a bad combination, and I am here to tell you they are. If you can avoid getting food poisoning, I suggest you do. If you do get food poisoning, stay out of your car for all of our sakes.
Why am I talking about this? It just so happens the other night I had a bit of a jibbly tummy and had to go on a drive.
Let me go back a bit. For any of you not in the know, I deliver newspapers at night for extra money. From two o'clock in the morning to six o'clock on the road, I am out there slinging papers for little to no profit. The newspaper industry is dying and I am riding that dragon to the sea in a Toyota Corolla.
So last night, best as I can figure, I ran across an evil can of New England clam chowder. The food tasted good, it warmed well, and mixed with some crackers settled in pretty well. Then I took a nap and six hours later woke with a rumbly in my tumbly, to quote the philosopher Pooh.
Let's not be graphic. Remain adults. I texted my boss at the paper, said I may be a little late picking up my papers due to a spontaneous firehose impression.
He said that was fine.
Fun fact about the newspaper delivery business: there is no day off. There is no sick time or personal leave. There is just a pile of papers waiting to be sorted and thumped on porches. If said papers do not thump on said porches, I get docked money. If people complain their paper is wet, or missing, or that it is not a paper they agree with, I get docked money. Three dollars per complaint.
Really puts a dent in the shittiness of the job. Makes it that much better.
So back to my grossness. By the time two o'clock rolled around, I was tired of my toilet and my toilet was tired of me. I was as empty as a Bud Lite keg at a frat party during Mardi Gras.
I went in to the paper.
They had prepared for me. One of the ladies said she would take part of my run, the easy part. I run through two nursing homes and they do not want disease going in those places. Rosa said she would go there for me.
I only puked once while making the papers, folding the inserts into the main sections. With the industrial stink of a warehouse bathroom around me I splashed my face with water and looked at myself in the mirror and wondered what was I doing this for? Pay rent, go on a date now and then. Buy evil cans of clam chowder.
Out on the town, windows down and cool wind in my face I began to feel better. I made my deliveries, only going home once and sparring with the toilet. We had a grudging relationship at this point.
I was done by five, rolling through the silent streets. I saw a skunk and identified with the creature.
A fox followed me for a bit as he does on moonless nights. He has not told me his name but I see him from time to time. I waved and he did that fox thing where he stopped and looked at me with his tongue out. He has a big long tail that reminds me of a folk story about a man who steals a tail from a creature who exacts bloody vengeance.
Back home, I took a shower and crawled into bed. At some point in the morning an angel came by, dropped off some ginger ale and nausea medicine. I did not ask her name, but I have my suspicions.
If you can avoid food poisoning, I suggest you do. If you can avoid food poisoning and driving, well, that's all the better. Just remember to look at the expiration dates on those cans and do not trust microwaves to kill what ails you.